Archive | June, 2015

What’s Goodes for the Goose is not Goodes for the Gander.

1 Jun


I am sorry Adam Goodes but claiming that you were performing a war dance for cultural significance is a complete load of bullshit. The reason you were performing a war dance was to incite and provoke the opposition crowd. The fact you are not coming forward and owning your actions is predominantly why you are losing the crowd. Goodes claims it was a cultural celebration and ‘he was expressing his Aboriginality and everyone should take a chill pill’. Well Adam I wonder how you would react if your child or family was in that group of supporters? How would you explain that to a 10 year old

‘oh that’s ok son he is allowed to imitate a violent act and threaten a crowd, he’s Aboriginal’.

I could think of many non threatening ways Adam Goodes could have celebrated his Aboriginality and his culture. To choose a war dance was deliberate and inciteful. He actually revealed after the incident that him and another indigenous player had planned to do this dance if either one of them scored a goal. It didn’t occur to him that this kind of action may be interpreted the wrong way?  I don’t really know of any threats of violence that are ever taken lightly, especially at a football match where passions are running  high and  your team is being heavily defeated. How is it a cultural celebration when it was deliberately directed at one section of the crowd?  Was Goodes singling these people out because they were Cartlon supporters? One may say that what he was doing was a form of bullying. Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. If he had done the dance in the middle of the field in no particular direction I don’t think we would even be talking about it. But he did single a group of people out which I think is where he went wrong.

Now I am not saying that the war dance doesn’t have its place. Given the right context  it does have cultural significance and should be given a platform. But that particular moment he chose to do it was inappropriate.  Why didn’t Goodes choose the ‘Bungkul’ or ‘Wungubal’ which are dances that are typically very lively with jumps by the men with more demure movements by woman? This a ‘social dance’ that has absolutely no war like qualities. I can tell you why! Because his intention wasn’t to celebrate Aboriginal culture it was to provoke the opposition crowd.

What if during the Anzac Day match an Essendon player (of any cultural background) went over to bunch of Collingwood supporters and imitated shooting them all down with a machine gun?  It would be in incredibly poor taste and heavily scrutinized.
The whole point of the indigenous round is to support and celebrate indigenous culture. So that we can come together and harmonise as a  community.  Did Adam Goode’s action set to bridge the cultural gap? I don’t think so.

An argument thrown forward in support of Goode’s is the New Zealand Haka. This is a war dance and is a heavily celebrated piece of cultural theatre that has pride of place in world sport.

I personally love it.

But this is always conducted before the match and given the appropriate platform pre – game. Never is the war dance produced during a match or after a scoring play. Why? Because if it is taken out of context in can be construed as threatening or violent. Lets not forget it’s a war dance, something that was performed prior to killing the enemy.

But even today there is  disparity in regards to the Haka. No oppostion team is allowed to advance on the Haka. They are not allowed to outwardly react to the Haka. You must stand there while the New Zealanders make threatening gestures and violently intimidate the opposition. As matter of fact in a show of the solidarity in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final the French rugby team advanced on the Haka and they were fined $10000 by the International Rugby Board for doing so.  How is this equal?  The reaction to an opposition war dance was to walk arm in arm towards it. Isn’t this fair? Two proud teams displaying pride in their cultures before they respectfully went into battle. The only problem being is that one team was penalized for showing it.

I think this is where the crux of the argument lies. Adam Goodes quite rightly called a young girl out for calling him and ‘ape’. An inappropriate,  uneducated racists remark that has no place in any sporting code. He sort to establish boundaries and rules. A definitive line between passionate support and inappropriate behavior. Well Mr Goodes you crossed that line on the weekend. Threatening violence in the form of a war dance during the game was not the time or place for it. Own your decision, admit that possibly it wasn’t  the best idea. No one is saying don’t do it. Just choose a different time to do it.

I think all Australians should celebrate the Aboriginal culture and the war dance should be seen more often. As a matter of fact the NRL provides a platform for ‘the war dance’ prior to the Indigenous vs All Stars match and it is well received by all players and the crowd.

Adam Goode’s is Aboriginal but this doesn’t mean he is above scrutiny. Granted the Aboriginal people have endured a disproportionate amount of oppression but the way forward isn’t to turn a blind eye to threats of violence masked by cultural celebrations. Goode’s needs to educate the Australian public in the ways of the ‘war dance’ in a neutral setting and not in the middle of an AFL match and not directed at one section of the crowd.

Adam Goode’s take responsinilty for your actions and celebrate your Aboriginality.

Rant On.